Recipes from America in 1887

These recipes I found in an old cookbook. Some of them I have made others not so much it really does depend on how well it transfers to gluten free. Sometimes it is hard to replace the natural gluten that gives dough its elasticity and workability in most recipes.

I will comment on things I have tried and failed along with which recipes worked out well.  The ingredients will also be listed so you don’t have to read through the instructions and figure them out yourself.

The language makes cooking and baking these recipes interesting. It is really left up to interpretation and a little bit of skill and imagination Without further delay…

Boston Cream Cakes

1 cup of Butter

1 cup Hot Water

1 pint of Sifted Flour

5 Eggs Separated

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon salt


2 Eggs

3 tablespoon of Sifted Flour


 1/2 cup Corn Starch

1 cup Sugar

1 pint Milk

Put into a saucepan half a cup of butter and one cup of hot water; set it to the fire; when the mixture begins to boil, turn in a pint of sifted flour at once, beat and work it well with a vegetable masher until it is very smooth.

Remove from fire, and when cool enough add five eggs that have been well beaten, first the yolks and then the whites, also half a teaspoon soda and a teaspoonful of salt.

Drop on buttered tins in large spoonsfuls about two inches apart.

Bake in a quick oven about fifteen minutes.

When done and quite cold, open them up on one side with a knife or scissors and put in as much custard as possible.

Cream for Filling – Made of two eggs, three able spoons of sifted flour or half a cup of cornstarch and one cup of sugar.

Put two-thirds of a pint of milk over the fire in a double boiler; in a third of a pint of milk, stir the sugar, flour and beaten eggs.

As soon as the looks like boiling, pour in the mixture and stir briskly for three minutes, until it thickens: then remove from the fire and add a teaspoonful of butter; when cool, flavor with vanilla or lemon and fill your cakes.

The Outcome

The cakes on this one does not convert to gluten free that well. The custard or cream filling though is good and worth a shot as it converts very well due to the option of corn starch. Just be careful not to over boiling it as it will ruin the sauce.

Would I make this again?

Yes, maybe not the cakes for myself but for others yes. Once you make this a time or two it becomes very easy. Although, I do not recommend this for new cooks.

Plain Pie Crust

2 ½ cup Sifted Flour

1 cup Shortening ( ½  Butter, ½ Lard cold)

1 teacupful Cold Water

Pinch of Salt

1 spoon large Baking Powder

Two and a half capfuls of sifted flour, one cupful of shortening, half butter and hald lard cold, a pinch of salt, a heaping teaspoon of baking powder sifted through flour.

 Rub thoroughly the shortening into the flour.

Mix together with half a teacupful of cold water, or enough to form a rather stiff dough; mix as little as possible, just enough to get it into shape to roll out; it must be handled very lightly. This role is for two pies.

When you have a little pie crust do not throw it away; roll it thin, cut in small squares and bake. Just put a teaspoonful of raspberry jelly on each square.

Rule for Under Crust

A good rule for pie crust for a pie requiring only under crust, as a custard or pumpkin pie, is: Three large tablespoonfuls of flour sifted, rubbing in a large  tablespoonful of cold butter or shortening, and a pinch of salt, mixing with cold water enough to form a smooth, stiff paste and rolled quite thin.

To Make Pie Crust Flaky.

In making a pie, after you have rolled out your top crust, cut it about the right size, spread it over with butter, then shake sifted flour over the butter, enough to cover it well.

 Cut a slit in the middle place it over the top of your pie, and fasten the edges as any pie.

Now take the pie on your left hand and a dipper of cold water in your right hand, tip the pie slanting a little, pour over the water sufficiently to rinse off the flour.

Enough flour will stick to the butter to fry into the crust, to give it a fine, blistered, flaky look, which many cooks think it is much better than rolling the butter into the crust.

Outcome – For gluten free this didn’t work out so well but surprisingly well when using regular flour. I won’t lie I was very skeptical of the water trick, but it succeeded in making me hold my tongue.

Would I make it again? – Honestly? No not unless there was a specific purpose to do such.

Who can say no to a well made dessert.

Boston Cream Pie

Cream Part.

 1 pint Milk

2 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

½ cup Flour

1 oz Butter

Vanilla or Lemon Flavor

Crust Part.

3 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

1 ½ cup sifted Flour

1 teaspoonful Baking Powder

2 tablespoonfuls milk


2 tablespoonfuls Water

Cream Part. – Put on a pint of milk to boil. Break two eggs into a dish and add one cup of sugar and half a cup of flour previously mixed after beating well, stir it into the milk just as the milk commences to boil; flavor with vanilla or lemon.

Crust Part. – Three eggs beaten separately, one cup of granulated sugar, one and a half cups sifted flour, one large teaspoonful of baking powder and two tablespoonfuls of milk or water.

Divide the batter in half and bake on two medium-sized pie-tins. Bake in a rather quick oven to a straw color.

When done cool, split each one in half with a shard broad-bladed knife, and spread half the cream between each slice.

Serve cold. The cake be flavored the same as the custard.

Outcome – Came out very well for using gluten-free flour, I also covered the top in a chocolate spread. They custard helped the cake to be moist after leaving it overnight in the fridge.

Would I make it again? – Yes, it came out very well and was tasty too.

I love these little tart gems.

Cranberry Pie

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 Tbs flour

Heaping coffeecupful of split cranberries

Take fine, sound, ripe cranberries and with a sharp knife split each one until you have a heaping coffeecupful, put them into a vegetable dish or basin; put over them one cupful of white sugar, half a cup of water, a tablespoonful of sifted flour, stir it all together and put into your crust.

 Cover with an upper crust and bake slowly in a moderate oven. You will find this the true way of making cranberry pie.

Outcome – I really enjoyed this, then again, I adore cranberries. Something about that tartness when mixed with sugar just pleases me so much. It came out pretty good, I think I liked it more than my husband though.

Would I make it again? – yes but I think I wouldn’t make a whole pie since it would basically be just for me and I do not need that many calories.

What books where these recipes in?

If I am not mistaken these recipes come from The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887). It also had tips and tricks for around the house.

Reading old manuals and recipes like that book is a source of joy, it is so interesting to peek at the mundane going on abouts from history.

It never ceases to amaze me at how far humans have come along in many different areas, including the kitchen.

I think it is good to have skills from the past, that way they don’t get lost to the passing of time. Sure most of them are so outdated it truly is almost useless, but you never know when you might have to cook something over an open fire.

I hope you too enjoyed seeing a few American recipes from the past, if you do make some of these let me know how they turned out for you. I am always curious to see how others did.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me I am always will to talk to new people, you never know what you can learn.

Next week will be on brewing meads and a very interesting thing called Cock Ale. If you too are curious about Cock Ale, check back in next Monday for that article.

I am working on figuring out how to set up a mailing list so I can let others know about what articles are coming up so they can visit to read or pick up a new recipe.


4 thoughts on “Recipes from America in 1887”

  1. Bithi says:

    Writing skill is amazing

  2. Rehan says:

    i like your information thanks

  3. zia says:

    realy great

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